Irish-Swedish love affair
by Annika Pham
"The Swedish film industry has a good reputation in Europe. They are professional, flexible and easy to work with", said Simon Perry, CEO of the Irish Film Board (IFB), who was at Film I Väst's headquarters in Trollhättan (western Sweden) last week for a gathering with 15 Swedish producers.
Film I Väst, Sweden's biggest regional film support body, which was hosting the international co-production seminar in collaboration with ACE (Ateliers du Cinéma Européen), has invested in three feature films so far: David Gleeson's The Front Line [+see also:
film profile] and Martin Duffy's Summer of the Flying Saucer in 2006, and Kisses by Lance Day (Halo Effect), currently filming in Ireland.
Kisses, starring Stephen Rea, is produced in Ireland by Fastnet Films with funding from the IFB, Zentropa in Denmark, Film I Väst, Irish Broadcaster TV3 and Section 481. The family film about two young children who run away from home together at Christmas is shooting in Ireland until early May and will then move to Trollhättan.
"There will be more co-productions with Sweden in the future", stressed Perry, who also confirmed that the IFB was discussing several Swedish projects in which the Irish funding body was intending to invest. "We want to be able to reciprocate", he said. "This is how it works in the business: we invest in each other's films".
Tomas Eskilsson, head of Film I Väst, said that Swedish producers need to develop their co-production skills outside of Nordic countries. For him, the goal for seminars such as the one he just organised is to increase Swedish producers' ability to find good projects to co-produce abroad. "Instead of just sitting and wait for an exciting project to suddenly appear, we want Swedish companies to work in a more proactive way", he said.
In the future, Film I Väst and ACE intend to organise international co-production seminars on a yearly basis. In 2008, the focus will be on Germany, France and Benelux, in 2009 on the UK and Ireland, and in 2010 on Southern Europe.
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